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Unknowingly Giving Up Your Legal Rights: Arbitration!

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posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 03:11 PM
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People say... Get with the times! If you don't like it... you don't have to use it, buy it, eat it, participate in it, etc. It's getting harder and harder to get around by just not supporting shady practices anymore. How this is a real thing here in the US blows my mind. I never knew such a thing existed until just moments ago while reading this tidbit from Reddit. Apparently, you can unknowingly give up your legal rights to sue in court, even when your health and personal safety are involved.

Let's say, you don't have transportation and you need to get to that job interview and you're strapped for cash and you don't know anyone that can help. You pick up your phone and contact an Uber. On the way to your job interview, the driver slams into a bus and when you wake up from your coma, you realize you don't have any legs and you're missing an arm and even more horrible, you can't move because your spine has been severed in the crash.

Pretty bad day, huh? Well... at least you can sue!

Nope! Not the normal way at least. There is this thing called Arbitration that many companies are using now and you unknowingly sign on the dotted line and give up all of your legal rights to sue these companies in a traditional court setting. Is this real? Yep! It's right there in the USER AGREEMENT that you accepted when you had that Uber heading your way.

Seriously? You bet.

Uber wins ruling allowing it to keep customers from suing in court



Embattled ride-hailing giant Uber scored a court victory Thursday, when a federal appeals court ruled in favor of allowing the ride-hailing company to keep its users from filing lawsuits in court against it.

Uber has sought to force customer disputes to be resolved in arbitration instead of in court, citing an arbitration commitment in its user agreement.


Are you kidding me?!? Is this for real??? What the hell happened to our judicial system? How is this even legal?


Uber's user agreement contains a provision that forces customers to waive their right to sue the company. Instead, according to the agreement, Uber users must settle legal disputes they have with the company in private arbitration outside of a court. Arbitration differs from a government court in that parties involved can choose their own judges. Also, the results of the arbitration can be made confidential.


Apparently Uber is just one of the many that actually do this to their customers. Imagine, if you will, needing a home phone. Who you gonna call? AT&T? Well, you better hope they're not your only competitors in your area.


Other internet companies such as Airbnb, Netflix and Amazon have arbitration policies. U.S. senators have battled with AT&T over its policy of forcing consumers who sign phone contracts with the company to resolve their disputes through arbitration.


And as per AT&T:


"No AT&T customer is ever 'forced' to agree to arbitration," AT&T Executive VP Tim McKone wrote in a letter to senators, in June. "Customers accept their contracts with AT&T freely and voluntarily.”



So what is this Arbitration? Well... It's a lot of stuff and not all nice and peachy. Here is just a basic rundown and a site for more info:

Arbitration



At its core, arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. An arbitration hearing may involve the use of an individual arbitrator or a tribunal. A tribunal may consist of any number of arbitrators though some legal systems insist on an odd number for obvious reasons of wishing to avoid a tie. One and three are the most common numbers of arbitrators. The disputing parties hand over their power to decide the dispute to the arbitrator(s). Arbitration is an alternative to court action (litigation), and generally, just as final and binding (unlike mediation, negotiation and conciliation which are non-binding).

General principles of arbitration are as follows:

- The object of arbitration is to obtain a fair resolution of disputes by an impartial third party without unnecessary expense or delay.
- Parties should be free to agree how their disputes are resolved, subject only to such safeguards as are necessary in the public interest.
- Courts should not interfere.

Arbitrators, or Tribunal members, are commonly appointed by one of three means:

1. Directly by the disputing parties (by mutual agreement, or by each party appointing one arbitrator)

2. By existing tribunal members (For example, each side appoints one arbitrator and then the arbitrators appoint a third)

3. By an external party (For example, the court or an individual or institution nominated by the parties)



Some sites I looked into about this seems to show that Arbitration is a good thing. However, there are plenty news sources that say otherwise.

The NY Times Says:


Corporations said that class actions were not needed because arbitration enabled individuals to resolve their grievances easily. But court and arbitration records show the opposite has happened: Once blocked from going to court as a group, most people dropped their claims entirely.

The Times investigation was based on thousands of court records and interviews with hundreds of lawyers, corporate executives, judges, arbitrators and plaintiffs in 35 states.

Since no government agency tracks class actions, The Times examined federal cases filed between 2010 and 2014. Of 1,179 class actions that companies sought to push into arbitration, judges ruled in their favor in four out of every five cases.



Man, the more I read about this stuff, the angrier I get. Seems to me that before long, this sort of thing will be so common place that there wont be much ability to actually achieve any form of justice anymore. I think at some point, vigilante justice might be a thing that these companies will have to prepare for.

While you're at it, look up Forced Arbitration. Then search for companies that are involved. It'll blow your mind at just how many familiar businesses force their own employees and even customers into this BS.




edit on 21-8-2017 by StallionDuck because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 03:28 PM
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a reply to: StallionDuck

Today's activist court always rules against workers and consumers.



posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: StallionDuck

This is the same thing Monsanto did. I'm not sure how these companies are getting away with this. It must be the corrupt judges allowing it.



posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 04:08 PM
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a reply to: ADSE255

All these so called "conservative" judges don't give a hoot about abortion. They are not really conservative at all. What they are is "corporatist" judges.



posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 04:13 PM
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Yet ANOTHER wonderful GIFT from the financially COMPROMISED ADMIRALTY system of law.
Where one must pay for the person, MOST effective in a foreign language's semantics ,DAMNED be the facts.



posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 04:34 PM
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Dude arbitration has been around for a hundred years, probably more in one form or another.

Binding arbitration is as common as contracts. Sometimes I recommend clients include it, sometimes not. It just depends on the client's goals and how it wants to handle disputes.

Relax. it's not a big thing.



posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 05:26 PM
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In this digital age, the main problem is paperless contracts that cannot be amended.

Look up the elements of a contract:

"Elements of a Contract.
The requisite elements that must be established to demonstrate the formation of a legally binding contract are
(1) offer;
(2) acceptance;
(3) consideration;
(4) mutuality of obligation;
(5) competency and capacity; and, in certain circumstances,
(6) a written instrument.

You can't do much with an consideration of an offer when 99.9% of the time your only option is to agree or disagree.

Conservatively, at least 90% of folks NEVER read user or terms of agreement(s), and NEVER have the opportunity to amend a contract and resubmit for a mutual agreement. Most don't even know they have that right....WITH ALL CONTRACTS!!!

NOPE. It's either sign or be denied products or services.

We LET this happen "freely and voluntarily".



posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 05:54 PM
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a reply to: EternalShadow

Exactly! And you'd need a damned lawyer to understand it anyways. That and of course 3 24h days just to read through one of them.



posted on Aug, 21 2017 @ 09:33 PM
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Except the fact that it is not unknowing. You did sign the contract. The fact that you did not read it has no bearing. Would you fail to read your rental agreement to make sure that they didn't throw in extra costs?




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